The past few weeks, and the end of the year

Hello all. Thank you all for the patience in waiting for new content on the blog. This term has been a busy one! Luckily for Think.Play, it has been a term filled with successful events and great dialogue. What I want to do in this post is recap this term’s happenings. Let’s jump right in.

Week 1 – Fight Night

We kicked off the term with a few of our favorite fighting games: Guilty Gear, Dragonball Z: Budokai 3, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Guilty Gear and Budokai 3 were open play, while Smash Bros. was the stage for tournament style fighting. Jacob took the gold with Ness in the Smash tournament. Fun times were had, and many butts were kicked.

Week 2 – Gentrification, Gender, and Dance Central with Bryce Peake

Bryce Peak, Ph.D. candidate in UO’s School of Journalism and Communication came to dance the night away with Dance Central. Not really, but a lot of dancing happened that evening. Bryce talked with us about how Dance Central transformed hip-hop music to be ‘safe’ for its target audience (white domesticity). Because Bryce’s background is in music, he gave a detailed breakdown of a few songs by comparing the structure of the original version to the Dance Central version, and boy were the results interesting!

Week 3 – Rock Band Night

Classic fun was had by all when Eder busted out Rock Band. It was really fun hearing everyone take a shot at singing. That is all.

Week 4 – Fandom and Harry Potter/Pottermore with Mara Williams

Mara Williams led a discussion on fandom in Harry Potter, and how that fandom was channeled into a new game called Pottermore. This was a fantastically interesting talk for me personally because I see fandom everywhere, and I am even a participant of it, but when it comes to understanding it, fandom is enigmatic to me. Delving into the very real example of Harry Potter fandom and how it sparked the creation of an online game was great times.

Week 5 – Field Trip: Level Up Arcade

Week 5 will forever be known as the greatest idea of all time. Why wouldn’t it be fun to go to an arcade and play pinball? Why wouldn’t it be fun to pay 4 quarters to wield giant light-guns and shot dinosaurs like they are NOTHING? These questions are ridiculous, because everyone thought it would be fun, and it was. Four words people: Need. More. Field. Trips.

Week 6 – A Primer on Starcraft II Strategy and Tactics with Chris Thomson

Last week Chris sat down and scratched the surface of the complex world of Starcraft II. Seriously, there was so much covered, and I feel like I would be able give a regular player a decent game. Just talking about the many different tactics you need to employ to not get blown out immediately was mind-boggling. Remember kids, scout the enemy right away, and always remember to hf (Starcraft lingo for have fun).

Week 7 – Co-op Night

Co-op Night was just last night, and went well. Minecraft on the Xbox 360 is, in my opinion, generally inferior to the PC version for many reasons which I will not go over here, but being able to play with up to 4 players split-screen is some classic fun that translates well to the Minecraft experience. We had one person in the mines digging for minerals, one person setting up farmland for harvest, one person gathering materials topside, and our last compatriot building sand castles. Sin and Punishment made an appearance, while New Super Mario Bros. Wii rounded out the night. That game is hilarious to play with four people because you never know if it will be a koopa that is going to kill you, or a teammate.

That has been the term so far, and it’s easy to see that things are going great. Feel free to post some comments of your favorite moments from the term, and we can all reflect back. Join us next Wednesday (5/23) at 7pm in Knight 101 where Eric Wills of the computer science department will be talking about bloom lighting in modern games.

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